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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Thirty-nine Steps, by John Buchan This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: The Thirty-nine Steps Author: John Buchan Posting Date: July 30, 2008 [EBook #558] Release Date: June, 1996 [Last updated: October 25, 2013] [Last updated: October 30, 2018] Language: English *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE THIRTY-NINE STEPS *** Produced by Jo Churcher. HTML version by Al Haines. Corrections by Menno de Leeuw.
The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
Contents Chapter I The Man Who Died Chapter II The Milkman Sets Out on his Travels Chapter III The Adventure of the Literary Innkeeper Chapter IV The Adventure of the Radical Candidate Chapter V The Adventure of the Spectacled Roadman Chapter VI The Adventure of the Bald Archaeologist Chapter VII The Dry-Fly Fisherman Chapter VIII The Coming of the Black Stone Chapter IX The Thirty-Nine Steps Chapter X Various Parties Converging on the Sea TO THOMAS ARTHUR NELSON (LOTHIAN AND BORDER HORSE) My Dear Tommy, You and I have long cherished an affection for that elemental type of tale which Americans call the “dime novel” and which we know as the “shocker”—the romance where the incidents defy the probabilities, and march just inside the borders of the possible. During an illness last winter I exhausted my store of those aids to cheerfulness, and was driven to write one for myself. This little volume is the result, and I should like to put your name on it in memory of our long friendship, in the days when the wildest fictions are so much less improbable than the facts.
J.B. Sept. 1915
Chapter I The Man Who Died I returned from the City about three o’clock on that May afternoon pretty well disgusted with life. I had been three months in the Old Country, and was fed up with it. If anyone had told me a year ago that I would have been feeling like that I should have laughed at him; but there was the fact. The weather made me liverish, the talk of the ordinary Englishman made me sick. I couldn’t get enough exercise, and the amusements of London seemed as flat as soda-water that has been standing in the sun. “Richard Hannay,” I kept telling myself, “you have got into the wrong ditch, my friend, and you had better climb out.” It made me bite my lips to think of the plans I had been building up those last years in Buluwayo. I had got my pile—not one of the big ones, but good enough for me; and I had figured out all kinds of ways of enjoying myself. My father had brought me out from Scotland at the age of six, and I had never been home since; so England was a sort of Arabian Nights to me, and I counted on stopping there for the rest of my days.

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